Poverty and social exclusion

It is sometimes assumed that LGB people are more affluent than the general population. This is because it is assumed that LGB people work in high paid jobs and have no dependents.

This has been perpetuated by some research that has been conducted either at gay lifestyle conferences, or via the gay press. Generally, more affluent people attend lifestyle conferences, and read expensive magazines.

There is no evidence to indicate that LGB people are either more affluent, or from lower income backgrounds than the rest of the population. From December 5th 2006, LGB people who receive benefits, and live with their partner are treated in the same way as heterosexual people; they have therefore been re-assessed as a consequence of their relationship. This has affected a significant number of people, who have been vocal in their objections to this joint income-assessment. This has indicated that there are LGB people in the UK who come from low-income backgrounds. It is also possible to assume that as women are more likely to live in poverty, two women are also more likely to live in poverty.

In common with the general population, low-income has an impact on access to health care, and preventative health care. This inequality as a consequence of poverty will be heightened if LGB people do not seek health care intervention because they think they will be treated differently because of their sexual orientation.


  • Health Inequalities: Improving Health: Tayside Inequalities Strategy: Taking up the Challenge Inequalities Strategy Group (2003)
  • Poverty and social exclusion of lesbians and gay men in Glasgow S John, A Partick (1999)
  • Beyond recognition and redistribution: a case study of lesbian and gay workers in a local labour market in Britain. R F Roisin. (2004)
  • Homo economics: capitalism, community, and lesbian and gay life. A Gluckman and B Reed. (1997)
  • The housing and support needs of older lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Scotland: a report to Communities Scotland. ODS in partnership with Stonewall Scotland (2005).
  • Money, myths, and change: the economic lives of lesbians and gay men. M Virginia L Badgett. (2001)
  • Poverty: lesbians and gay men; the economic and social effects of discrimination. Combat Poverty Agency. (1995)
  • What difference does ‘difference’ make? : towards an understanding of homelessness for young lesbian and gay people. G A. Dunne (1996)
  • Working Class Gay Men: Redefining Community, Restoring Identity P Keogh, C Dodds, L Henderson (2002)

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